My Life Is a Journey Made Better With Dogs

People say that life is a journey.  It's not a race or a destination, it's a journey to be enjoyed and experienced.  I don't know where my life's journey will take me, but I'm ready to go down any road as long as my dogs are with me!

If you're anything like me, your pets are family and they make life better in so many ways.  My dogs, Icy and Phoebe, are a huge part of my life. They make me laugh with their adorable antics, cheer me up when I'm feeling down, and motivate me to get up and experience life's fun and adventure, even when I feel too lazy to get off the couch!

Our dogs are family, loyal companions who love us unconditionally.  For that devotion, they deserve premium 100% natural treats, like True Chews® Dog Treats!
On my life's journey, three things I can't do without are; Tail wags, Sloppy kisses, and Treats.  Lots and lots of dog treats, preferably All Natural Dog Treats!  Nothing but the best will do for my pups, so I only give them premium treats like TRUE CHEWS® Dog Treats.

I partnered with TRUE CHEWS to share my journey with Phoebe.  Life wasn't always easy for her, but together we worked through it to give her the best life!

This post is sponsored by True Chews® Dog Treats and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share information about the True Chews line of all-natural dog treats. but Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. All statements made reflect my true opinion of the product.  True Chews is not responsible for the content of this article.

I have a close bond with both my dogs, but Phoebe and I share something extra special.  Our journey together didn't start off easy, though.  In fact, when I first adopted her she was so filled with fear that it prevented her from embracing life.

I first met Phoebe at the animal shelter where I was volunteering.  I wasn't looking for another dog but she was so adorable and sweet, I fell in love with her immediately and adopted her that day!  I had no idea she was harboring extreme fear issues that would prevent her from enjoying life.

In this 2 minute video, I share the story of my journey with Phoebe.  I'm so proud of how she transformed from terrified shelter dog to a happy, confident member of our family!

(NOTE: To turn on video sound, click on the sound icon at lower right to remove the x, OR right click on the video and select Unmute)




Now Phoebe wakes up happy each day, embracing life with joy and anticipation of what the day might bring!  Weather it's a road trip, a hike, or an outing around town Phoebe is up for it!  

Dogs give us their unconditional love, 100% of the time.  That kind of love deserves the very best we can give them.  The folks at True Chews feel the same way!  That's why they created True Chews all natural Dog Treats.  



Here's what I love about TRUE CHEWS dog treats:

👉 They are 100% Natural dog treats, made using only natural ingredients


👉 They are both Made and Sourced in the U.S.A.


👉 They are Made with premium cuts of meat, which are always the #1 ingredient listed


👉 They contain NO meat by-products, artificial flavors or preservatives


TRUE CHEWS dog treats were created by pet parents for pet parents.  They're committed to making Wholesome100% Natural dog treats.  The best part? My dogs love them!


On a recent shopping trip to the pet store, Phoebe pondered which True Chews dog treats she likes best!  I think she wanted to buy one of every kind but we stuck with the Chicken, Duck, and Beef Premium Jerkey Cuts!  Delicious!!

True Chews All Natural Dog Treats are made and sourced in the USA. They contain premium cuts of meat and NO meat by-products, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives.
Hmmm, which of these fabulous TRUE CHEWS dog treats do I love best??
Treat Them Well!

Life's journey with our dogs is special.  Make it even more special with TRUE CHEWS 100% Natural, Made in the USA dog treats.



True Chews 100% Natural dog treats.  These dog treats are Made and Sourced in the USA. Premium cuts of meat, NO artificial flavors or preservatives, NO animal by-products
When we hit the cafe, I have a snack for myself, and Phoebe gets a special TRUE CHEWS treat!

You can find TRUE CHEWS dog treats at pet specialty stores like PetSmart, Petco and online at Chewy.com.  Visit the TRUE CHEWS Store Locator to find TRUE CHEWS dog treats at a store near you!


Connect with TRUE CHEWS by visiting their Facebook Page  


Is your life's journey made better with your dog?  Tell us about it in the comments!


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of True Chews. The opinions and text are all mine.

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween is one of the most popular and fun holidays in the U.S.  The National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade association, estimates that more than 179 million Americans plan to take part in Halloween festivities this year, spending a record high of $9.1 billion on costumes, candy, and decorations!! That's a Howlin' ton of Halloween fun!  These days, Halloween isn't just for the kids, it's for pets too!


Keep your cats, dogs, and other pets safe with these Halloween Pet Safety Tips   #dogs #Halloween
Little Devil Phoebe wishes you a Happy Howloween!!

The National Retail Federation estimates that we'll spend $350 million on Halloween costumes for our pets alone!  I call that the Howl-o-ween Effect!  

Of those planning to celebrate Halloween this year, 16% of them will dress their pets up in costume.  Some of the most popular costumes expected for pets this year are a pumpkin, hot dog, bumble bee, devil, Batman character, dog, lion, pirate, ghost, and witch.  

10% of pet lovers will dress their pet in a pumpkin costume, 7% will dress their cat or dog as a hot dog, and 4% will dress them as a dog, lion, or pirate!

With all this Halloween fun expected for pets, here are a few Safety Tips to keep in mind:


DRESS FOR HALLOWEEN SUCCESS


If you're dressing your pet up in a costume, have your pet spend time wearing the costume before they wear it on Halloween.  Costumes may feel very strange to them.  If it's uncomfortable and your pet just doesn't want to wear a costume, please don't force it.  Not every pet will be happy wearing a costume.

Dressing your pet up for Halloween? Let your pet get used to wearing a costume before wearing it on Halloween.  More Halloween Pet Safety tips.
Don't put your pet in a costume that will make him uncomfortable. 
There are some really simple costumes available for dogs that literally just sit on top of your dog's back.  They're lightweight and velcro close under their belly.  A costume like this may be all your pet will agree to.  In the photo below, Icy is wearing a simple Headless Horseman pet Halloween costume that sits comfortably on her back.  This is actually my favorite Halloween photo of her!

This style of super simple pet Halloween costume is easy & not uncomfortable for many pets to wear. This is one of my favorites!  Halloween Pet Safety Tips
Icy is wearing a really simple Pet Halloween Costume that sits on her back comfortably. 
For pets who won't wear a costume, your pet can still look festive with a fun Halloween bandana, collar, bow tie, or stretchy elastic "necklace"  with Halloween themed colors or adornment on it.

Just like with training, use treats or a favorite toy to help create a positive association for your pet with the costume.  However, if they still hate wearing the costume just scrap it. Never make your pet do something, or wear anything, they're uncomfortable with.


MONSTERS AMONG US!!


In addition to getting your pet used to her own costume, help your pet get used to all the crazy and potentially scary costume's she will see on other pets and on people.  

Many pets are afraid of hats, umbrellas and other items people carry.  On Halloween, your pet is likely to see tons of weird apparel and accessories on pets and people.  They may see them in the street, at a Halloween event, or even at a party in your own home.  

Take some time to help your pet prepare for all the weird costumes they may see.  Try on some of your old costumes, invite a friend's pet over in costume, or take your pet to a store that sells costumes and try some on - with all the accessories!  Let your pet know there's nothing to fear.  Have some treats or a favorite toy handy when you do this.

WHEN SWEETS ARE ANYTHING BUT SWEET


Candy is toxic to pets.  Do you have a plan to keep candy well out of reach so your dog doesn't ingest something toxic?  Candy, especially chocolate and anything containing Xylitol can be very toxic to pets, pets have died from this!


I knew a lady who received a giant bar of chocolate as a gift.  She left it on the bed and her little dog got into it, scarfing it down while she was in the bathroom.  Tragically, her sweet dog did not survive the incident.


Some years ago, a young couple in our dog training class had a beautiful Lab puppy.  While they were on vacation her mother baby sat for the pup.  Somehow this little dog got into an empty bag of potato chips and suffocated.  It was the most heartbreaking thing.  Can you even imagine something so tragic happening to your pet?


I don't share these stories to shock or upset anyone, I share them to inform and warn people of potential dangers.  Please, make sure everyone in your household understands the danger of candy to pets!  Kids love to spill out their Trick or Treat bags onto the floor or the bed.  make sure they know how important it is never to leave any candy, chips or other sweets where a pet could possibly get into it.


SOMEONE'S AT THE DOOR!



One of the things that can freak your dog out is the constant ringing of the doorbell when Trick or Treaters arrive, or weird looking STRANGERS in your dog's mind!


My dogs used to go nuts in our former house where we had tons of kids Trick or Treating all night long.  After the first year, we put leashes on the dogs and let them sit in the front room with us waiting for the bell to ring. They were much more relaxed when they knew what was happening and could see the kids in their adorable costumes from a safe distance.  The kids got a kick out of seeing Icy and Phoebe too!


If you're entertaining on Halloween, make sure you have a plan to keep your pets away from the door!  Many pets end up in shelters due to the craziness of Halloween.  Keep your dog secure during trick or treat hours and during any parties you may be hosting at home.  



TAGS + MICROCHIP = GET BACK HOME SAFE!

Be sure your dog or cat is wearing a collar with updated ID tags.  Collars can easily break off, especially when a pet is frightened and running scared.  In case your pet and their collar are lost, consider microchipping your cat or dog as well.

Halloween is a great time to Microchip your pet if you haven't already!  Any shelter or Veterinarian's office should be able to scan a microchip in the event your dog or cat goes missing.  If it's too expensive at your Veterinarian, many shelters offer microchipping at a very low cost.  Halloween might be a good time to take advantage of that. 



Halloween Pet Safety Tips to help keep dogs and cats Safe during Halloween fun   #pets #dogs #Halloween
Don't let Halloween fun turn into a nightmare.  Keep pets Safe!
Don't let Halloween turn all Sleepy Hollow on you and become a nightmare.  Keep your pets safe!



Do you have any Halloween Pet Safety Tips to share?  Please leave us a comment!  We love hearing from you!



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Jetting Without My Dog

Poor Phoebe is disappointed that she won't be going with me to Jacksonville Florida to visit K9's  for Warriors.


Phoebe won't be joining me on my trip with Bayer Animal Health to visit K9's for Warriors
Why won't you take me with you?  Look how good I behave in the carrier!
I have the privilege of being invited by Bayer Animal Health to pay a visit to K9's for Warriors.  I was going to bring Phoebe along but some logistical snafu's made me change my mind.  Sorry sweetie, it's best if you stay home this time around.

👉 K9's for Warriors is the nation's leading provider of Service Dogs for American Veterans struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disability).  They're a tax exempt 501c3 organization

👉 They are dedicated to providing service canines to our warriors suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post 9/11.

👉 One of the things I love about the program is that so many of the dogs they pair with Veterans are Shelter Dogs!  K9's for Warriors trains these rescue dogs at their facility to prepare them for service to Veterans in need.

👉 K9's for Warriors goal is to empower these Veterans to return to civilian life with dignity and independence.

I'm excited to tour their facility and learn more about their process and all the great work they due to help Veterans!  

Thank you to Bayer Animal Health for inviting us to join your visit with K9's for Warriors!

Proud member of the Bayer Animal Health Pet Influencer Team!   We've been invited to visit K9's for Warriors to lean more about how they train shelter dogs to provide service to Veterans with PTSD.
I'm a proud member of the Bayer Animal Health Pet Influencer Team

Check in with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter Thursday and Friday for sneak peeks of our visit to K9's for Warriors.   

Tune in over the weekend for an update on what we learned at K9's for Warriors.  I'll also be sharing pet health tips from Bayer Animal Health's Veterinary experts!


A Guide To Dog Friendly Fall Adventures

I have always loved the Fall, but I'll admit I took it for granted year after year.  Only after living in Phoenix, Arizona for nearly 10 years did I really appreciate the joy of a majestic Fall season.  In Phoenix they joke that there are only two seasons; Hot and Hotter!

Although we loved living in Phoenix, we soon missed the blazing beauty of the Autumn leaves.  Even driving on the highways you can't help but be struck by Fall's gorgeous hues. The bright yellows, fiery reds, and deep rust tones create a stunning landscape against cool, crisp, sunny skies.

Fall is a great time for outdoor adventures with dogs!  This is a Guide To Great Dog Friendly Fall Adventures With Dogs.
Enjoying the beauty of Fall with Icy and Phoebe
I love outdoor activities with my dogs in every season.  Each season is special, with it's own brand of fun things to do with your pet unique to that season.

Fall is one of the best times to embark on outdoor fun activities and adventures with dogs! The weather is cooler and the Summer crowds have thinned out.

As October approaches we start thinking about Pumpkins, Hiking & Biking in cool weather, Fall Festivals & Costume Parades, Apple Picking, Corn Mazes, Fall Foliage, and Hay Rides!  So much FUN and bonding to be had with our pets during the Fall season! 

Here's a list of some great Fall activities to do with dogs.  Plan your Fall adventures now before the season of Autumn beauty is gone!


Fall is a beautiful time of year.  There are so many great activities to do with your dog in the Fall!  You need the right gear to enjoy it all.
Icy and Phoebe love outdoor Fall activities and Halloween treats!

FUN ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR DOG THIS FALL

Be ready for outdoor Fall activities with dogs by having the right gear!  For all that outdoor fun with the dog, you want to make sure your dog is comfortable and safe!

The two activities I look forward to the most with our dogs are hiking and bike riding.  We hike and bike in Summer, but heat and humidity often makes us keep hiking and biking trips with the dogs short.  Not so in the Fall, here's when we go all out!


BIKE RIDING WITH DOGS


Bicycle riding with your dog is a great activity, but you should do it safely.  Dogs have a habit of getting too close to the wheels of the bicycle or crossing out in front of the bike.  To avoid an accident I bought a Bicycle Leash for Icy.  A bike leash for dogs keeps your dog next to the bike and away from the wheels!  I use the Walky Dog Plus bike leash, but there are a few others on the market.  I couldn't find dog bike leashes in bicycle stores (weird, right?!), but a Google search pulled up several.  Walmart has a couple of them in their online store as well.

A Bike Leash for dogs helps you ride a bicycle with your dog safely.  #dogs #petsafety #bikewithdogs
Icy gets so excited when she see's my bicycle come out!

A bike leash for dogs helps you bicycle ride safely with dogs.  It prevents dogs from getting too close to the bike or it's wheels. #dogfriendly #dog
My Walky Dog Plus dog bike leash helps me bike ride safely with Icy

Icy and I can usually bike ride from early Fall through December in the Northeast.  In this video you can see how the bike leash keeps her at a safe distance from the bicycle.



Bike riding with your dog is not only a total blast, it has health benefits for both of you!  Need more reasons to bike ride with dogs? Here are 6 Reasons To Bike Ride With Your Dog!

Icy and Phoebe are two very different dogs in size, strength and endurance.  I can't bike ride with both of them together on bike leashes, but I can attach a Pet Basket for Bicycles to my bike for Phoebe!  That way she can join us for the ride and not feel left out.  PetSmart sells bicycle baskets for small dogs (or other small pets) online.  They have a few models, here's a really nice one:

Active gear for dogs.  This Bicycle Pet Basket attaches to a bicycle and allows you to take your small dog or other small pet along for a bicycle ride!
A bicycle basket made specifically for small dogs or other small pets!

HIKING WITH DOGS


We've done so much awesome hiking with our dogs, from Sedona, Arizona to Montauk, Long Island with tons of places in between!  I have to say, hiking is probably my favorite activity to do with the dogs.  I love to get out and explore nature with them.  It's a great activity for the 4 of us to do together.  Although Icy and Phoebe are active at different levels, hiking is something they can easily do together.   If Icy and my husband forge ahead, it's no big deal to stop and wait for Phoebe and I to catch up.


DOG CLOTHING AND OUTERWEAR


When I think about my dogs being safe and comfortable during outdoor Fall activities, the first thing I think about is clothing and outerwear.  Being a Siberian Husky, Icy pretty much never needs dog apparel of any kind!  As soon as Fall weather arrives however, Phoebe gets chilly.  I always have to break out a sweater or jacket for her when the weather turns cool.  I love shopping for Phoebe, it's so much fun!  They have the cutest clothing for dogs, especially for smaller dogs.


Phoebe in her Cheeta print sweater - I love the pink bow!
For cold Fall mornings, or if there's a chance of rain, your pooch might need a waterproof dog coat like this one.  I love the adorable wool hood on this jacket!


Phoebe stays cozy warm in her hot pink Winter dog jacket with wool hood



When we go on longer hikes, I often use a dog backpack for Icy.  It helps with carrying gear like water bottles, snacks, bowls, and waste bags.  It also helps curtail her pulling on leash.  Many dogs pull on their leash.  Using a backpack is one way some trainers recommend to reduce the pulling.  Be sure to check with a trainer or pet store staff on how much weight is appropriate for your dog to carry in the pack, if any.  You don't want to put more than approximately 10% of the dogs weight in a dog's backpack.

We often use a backpack for icy when we go on hikes.  It helps keep her from pulling like the sled dog that she is! She can carry her water bowl, water, and snacks allowing us to hike hands-free!
Some dogs may require less weight or none at all in a backpack. Check with your Veterinarian before using a weighted backpack on your dog for the first time.  Here are more tips to get your dog to Stop Pulling On Leash.

The stylish Everest Dog Pack by Pet Life shown here is waterproof and has reflective strips on the sides for safety.  You may not consider reflective safety strips when hiking, but more than once we've found ourselves still hiking after the sun has set.  Sunset in the Arizona desert is often when coyotes (and other animals) start hunting.  We could hear the howling - yikes!!
A dog backpack can not only carry some of your dog supplies & gear, it can help discourage leash pulling. 

Make sure you bring plenty of water on any outing with your dogs! Remember to bring along portable bowls and a water bottle.

SAFETY FIRST!


Fall is actually prime season for Fleas and Ticks!  Be sure to protect your dog with Flea & Tick control. Bravecto  provides up to 12 weeks protection from ticks and fleas in a tasty chew.  Note: Always Consult your Vet before you begin using any flea/tick product.

Fall is prime Tick and Flea season! Bravecto protects against ticks & fleas for up to 12 weeks!

If you plan to take your dog near beaches, lakes, ponds, pools. or out on a boat you may want to consider a Life Jacket for Dogs.  A life jacket is a great safety option for dogs around water, especially if your dog is unfamiliar with the area, isn't a strong swimmer, or if he'll be out on a boat.

This Kurgo Surf 'n Turf life vest doubles as a life vest or rain coat.  It has 2 handles to help get your dog in and out of the water, reflective trim, and 2 metal D-rings for leash connections.  The flotation layer can be removed so that the waterproof shell can be used as a raincoat!
If outdoor Fall adventures with your dog take you anywhere near water, consider a dog Life Jacket for pet safety. 


If your Fall adventure with your dog involves a car ride or a weekend getaway, consider a Dog Carrier or Pet Crate and a Pet Safety Harness for the car.



PET CARRIERS AND CRATES


There are SO many beautiful and versatile pet carriers to choose from these days.  Pet carriers come in lots of shapes and sizes, some models even have wheels.  A carrier or crate is a great way to keep your pet safe and secure while riding in the car or at the airport.  If your Fall adventure involves taking your dog or cat on an airplane, here is some information you should know; Tips For Air Travel With Pets.

Phoebe loves her Sherpa pet carrier!  I actually leave it open for her on the floor in my office so she can nap right next to me.


Outdoor Fall adventures with the dogs usually come with mud, sand, or dirt!  For all those great outdoor Fall adventures with your pup, make sure you protect your car seats with a Car Seat Cover like the one shown here from Kurgo!  They come in all sizes to fit pretty much any vehicle you've got. 4Knines makes great car seats too.

Outdoor adventures with dogs almost always involve mud, sand and dirt!  Investing in a quality seat cover like this one from Kurgo is a great idea.

Even if you have a car seat cover don't forget to bring along Pet Wipes and a Towel or Paper Toweling. You'll probably want to get the dirt off their paws before going back into the house after a day of  outdoor fun & adventure!  I always have pet wipes in the car and in my backpack, you just never know what your dog will roll in, step in, or swim in!  If there's anything massively stinky to roll in, my dogs are sure to find it!

One of the things I can't do without on any of our adventures with the dogs is a First Aid Kit.  I can't tell you how many times we've traveled with our dogs or gone on long day trips and needed the First Aid Kit!  It's essential to get a pet first aid kit, or assemble one yourself.  I'll never forget the time Icy cut her paw open on broken glass on her last potty break of the day.  It was at a hotel in Albuquerque, around 11pm.  No Veterinarian's were available and our first aid kit literally saved us!  Paw pads bleed a lot more than I expected!
A First Aid Kit is essential for outdoor adventures with dogs.   

The first aid kit pictured here is a 50 piece kit that folds up to fit into a backpack or glove compartment.  It includes a guide with instructions on how to assist a pet with minor medical emergencies.  We never home without a first aid kit!  We always have antibiotic ointment in our Pet First Aid Kit, it's essential to prevent infection if our dogs cut themselves.  I recently discovered Zymox Topical Cream with .5% Hydrocortisone.  This cream is made specifically for pets and is used for wound care, hot spots, and skin infections.  I love all their pet products, especially Zymox Oratene Brushless Pet Oral Care products and Zymox Itch Relief Shampoo.

Anther fun Fall activity is to head for your favorite dog friendly cafe for a mug of steaming hot spiced apple cider.  While you relax and enjoy that delicious traditional Fall beverage, your dog can enjoy a special chew stick or her favorite toy right beside you.

Pumpkin picking is a perennial Fall favorite, so look for a dog friendly farm and take your dog pumpkin picking!  I love taking pictures of my dogs out in the field among the bright orange pumpkins, the photos come out so pretty with all that Fall color. Rich Fall color brings so much warmth to a photo.

One thing we look forward to all year in our area are the Fall Festivals and Pet Costume Parades  It's so much fun to see all the dogs out and about, trotting alongside their family enjoying the festivities.  A Pet Costume parade is always fun.  Some people are really clever in the costumes they create for their pets!  It's so inspiring.

Icy marched in our town's Pet Halloween Costume parade looking BOO-tiful in her Headless Horseman costume! 
I'm sure this year's hottest Pet Halloween Costumes will be super heroes again, like Wonder Woman for the girls and Spider Man or Super Man for the boys.  Do you dress your pet up for Halloween?  What will your dog, cat, lizard, or other pet be for Halloween this year? Tell us in the comments! 
Wonder Woman Pet Costume for Halloween  #pets #halloween #dogcostume
I love the little skirt on this Wonder Woman costume, it's so cute!  
You don't even have to leave your own yard to enjoy the beauty of Fall with your pet.  Rake up the leaves in your yard and let your dog or cat play in them!  Throw his favorite ball or toy into the pile and watch him have fun digging and jumping through the leaves to retrieve the prize.  So what if you have to rake the leaves up again, it's worth it!

Once again, I'll be searching for a dog friendly Hay Ride and Corn Maze!  I was unsuccessful last year.

I'm excited to see more Fall themed pet treats this year, like Greenies Pumpkin Spice flavored Dental Chews for Dogs!  No reason why our pets shouldn't enjoy the flavors of the season, right?  While you enjoy a mug of hot apple cider at an outdoor cafe, give your dog a pumpkin spice flavored treat to enjoy and celebrate Fall together!

Pumpkin Spice flavor dental treats.  Our pets should enjoy the flavors of the Fall season too!

If you have the time and energy, you can make your own dog treats with Fall themed flavors like pumpkin, apple, or pear.

I take advantage of all those freshly picked pumpkins of Fall.  I add some pure pumpkin to my dogs' food each morning to give them the health benefits of pumpkin all year round. In the Fall I make my own pumpkin mush for them from the fresh pumpkins we bring home.  If you've never made fresh pumpkin  mush yourself, you'd be surprised at how much pumpkin mush even a very small pumpkin can yield!

Phoebe, surrounded by beautiful pumpkins at our town's Fall Festival!
🐾 After removing the seeds inside, I cut a fresh pumpkin into large chunks and boil until the pieces are soft.  

🐾 Then I peel off the outer skin (Skin comes off easily after boiling) and mash it all up in a bowl.  You can puree it in a blender if you prefer

🐾 Cooked pumpkin freezes well so it should last a couple of months in the freezer.  

Always check with your Veterinarian before introducing any new food into your pet's diet. Never feed raw pumpkin to your pet, raw pumpkin can make them sick.

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